Chamber of Commerce wants Provincial Action

Kingston, ON, Canada / CKWS TV

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce — in conjunction with several of its member agencies including Kingston — is looking for help from the provincial government.     They say the economy needs a kick-start — and a big part of that is the need for more skilled trades people.     Here’s Mike Postovit.

It’s just a matter of time before these St. Lawrence College students are out in the work force.
And skilled trades are in high demand.

Martin Sherris/Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce C.E.O.

“The community colleges — St. Lawrence and Loyalist are by and large doing a good job in training students for the careers that are available but it needs to be more on a provincial level.”

Sherris says a just released report talks about where the Ontario economy is at, where it’s going and what it means for businesses. It says immediate action is needed for the province to grow and prosper.

Sherris

“The consensus is that most businesses feel — and it’s over 53 percent say the biggest impediment to growing is a disconnected work force or undeveloped workforce.     So there’s jobs out there in different tech sectors — and different skilled trades that aren’t being filled because we simply haven’t trained our workforce to take on those jobs.”

The government says it is listening and points to successes in creating new jobs.

Sophie Kiwala/Kingston & the Islands M.P.P.

“I’m proud of the fact that the Bank of Montreal provincial outlook has suggested that our growth will be 2.2 percent compared to the 2 percent average and I’m proud as well that our unemployment rate has been below the national average for 20 consecutive months.”

As mentioned — the government is investing in jobs — just last week partnering with “Direct Coil” – a cooling and heating manufacturer for a 2.7 million dollar expansion of its plant in Loyalist Township.     But will companies like those be able to find the skilled help they need?

Sherris

“The bottom line for this — and the Ontario Chamber is spearheading this lobbying the provincial government and other authorities to increase the rate to which they train people to take on the jobs that are out there.”

The Chamber report also points out other barriers to growth including the rising price of electricity and the unknown impact of cap and trade.     The Chamber says it wants to work the government to address those concerns to ensure these students have bright future.     Mike Postovit, CKWS News, Kingston.

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